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Friday, April 25, 2008

First Come First Served

When is it time to create a Blog? Now seems right but everything else I try out for the first time seems to be right, too. My guess is that it reallly doesn't matter when! It is really about "What." So, for all of you who love painting with water, pigments and a brush -- here goes.

It has only been three years since I took the plunge (no pun intended) into watermedia. Not that I'm a "newbie painter," I just never really "got it" before! I've been an "Oil Man" since my grandmother bought me one of those cool wooden boxes with tiny (probably 1 or 2 cm) of 4 or 6 colors inside. It had one brush and a 5 x 10 canvas covered piece of cardboard. Oh yes, little miniture bottles of linseed oil and turpentine. I was a bit scared of this new thing called painting but intrigued enough to be excited by the prospect. I felt I had arrived. My little drawing were going to lead me into the world of Rembrandt (whoever that was) and I would begin a new stage in my artistic talent with creation of little stick figures with a brush and paint!

Up until this momentus time in my young life (5 or 6) my pallete had been crayons and my canvas odd pieces of paper that I managed to find around the house. But, granny saw a buddy painter in the rough but simple doodles of my masterpeices. she thought it was time for this young artist to get on the painting band wagon! I was so impressed and in awe of this magnifient gift, it took me 3 months to get up the nerve to open the box the second time.

I remember it was a rainy day outside. It was my kind of "creativity day." I was up early hunting for colored pencils and paper when it struck me that my little pine box was waiting for me to paint something. Of course, I was more inclined to draw one of my stick-figure battle scenes complete with lots of blood and burning half tracks. But the beautiful little box beckened to me. Surely one would never use paints to create a masterpiece for Granny.

I hadn't completely ignored this painting thing for the whole 3 months, I had been thinking about what would be an appropriate subject to waste those tiny tubes of paint on. A scene popped in my head of a water fall, blue lagoon and lots of trees all around. So I glanced at the directions, opened the green tube and gave it a squeeze. With a glob of green paint all over my hands I opened the turpentine bottle with a pair of pliers and tried to get wash the paint off! My next squeeze hit the canvas, so that is where my first tree would go -- by default! With brush in hand I dipped it into the paint and slowly "drew" a tree. The paint resisted leaving the brush and making a tree on the canvas. In fact any attempt I made to direct the brush and glob of paint met with resistance. My hand begain to shake as my nerves shattered to pieces. It suddenly dawned on me that I was never going to learn how to paint with this sticky, gooey mess called oil paint, nor could I draw anything using a bristle brush -- impossible. I threw the wet canvas in the box along with the wet brush, shut the lid and tossed the whole mess on my book shelf. I picked up my colored pencils and finished my rainy afternoon creating the coolest Civil War battle scene I 'd ever done using blue dots for the Yanks and gray dots for the Rebs with lots of bullets flying and plenty of blood. It was 1948 and I was happy again. It would be over 30 years before oil paint and I came together again.

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